Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Particularly Good Christmas Party

In December 2013, after recently returning from the U.S. (rather begrudgingly) I made the snap decision to attend a Christmas themed party at my friend Floyd's house. Fitting with the theme which asked us to wear either green or red coloured clothing I was dressed in sneakers, grey jeans and an Aaron Rodgers jersey which for those of you who know nothing of American Football is a dark green colour, Rodgers being the quarterback for Wisconsin's NFL team the Green Bay Packers.

Said party was the first social occasion I had attended since returning to the country after an 8 month absence. This was the chief influence on my decision to go and I expected nothing more than a night of light drinking and catching up with good friends I hadn't seen in a while.

A few minutes after arriving I was introduced to a rather attractive girl with bright red hair who was in a gorgeous dress and instantly made me question my fashion choices. This seemingly inconsequential meeting lead to further conversation later in the evening regarding cats and over-analysis of popular music which also seemed to be and at the time was completely innocuous.

Throughout the evening I had many other interactions with old friends and other people I'd just been introduced to and went home thinking not a whole lot more about it all. At some point one of us added the other on facebook and we liked each other's music pages and I was happy to have made a new friend.

Then she went off to England to study abroad for a year and I more or less forgot about her and carried on with my day to day existence.

A few months later, a movie came out called The Fault In Our Stars. Based off of the book of the same title by my favourite Young Adult author John Green, I saw the movie about 7 times over the course of its cinema run. After my third viewing, Floyd from the earlier paragraph about the Christmas party, organised a group of us to go and see it together.

One of our friends in this group extended the invite to none other than the girl from earlier, who I should probably mention does actually have a name, which is Clemmie. She was back from her adventures in the U.K. and apparently also quite the fan of John Green.

She came along and brought her best friend Chloe with her. I again conversed with her briefly, thought not much of it except that she was an okay human being to converse with and went on with my life.

As time went on, she became a regular feature on our thursday night quiz team, which resulted in me talking to her more and more. We got along reasonably well and after a bit, we started to miss questions in quiz due to being so wrapped up in conversation.

One week after quiz, we all went out to celebrate my friend Nathan's 22nd birthday. We hit a few bars, had a bit to drink and capped off the evening with karaoke at The Fringe bar. I think I did a rendition of Outkast's "Miss Jackson" that night. Karaoke is one of my favourite things to do on a night out, and rap is my favourite genre to do at karaoke given how incredibly white I am.

At the end of the evening, Clemmie offered to drive me home, I accepted and so began a tradition that would last for the next 3 weeks which involved her driving 15 minutes in the opposite direction of her house to drop me off at mine, me completely missing the point and thinking it was very generous of her to do so and both of us wondering what was going on.

On a Sunday night, our friend group usually does movie night at Floyd's house. After about 3 weeks of Clemmie driving me home every time we hung out with the group and us basically conversing with only each other in said group situations, nothing much had changed. Well, apart from the fact that I had now realised that I was crazily into her, everyone else was relentlessly giving me shit about it and I was starting to think that maybe there was an ulterior motive to driving me home. Halfway through this particular movie night, we were all gathered in the kitchen making dessert pizza when Clemmie said she was cold.

Given that I'd been sitting next to her all night debating whether or not I should try to put my arm around her, I took the opportunity I saw in front of me. I went to the lounge, got us a blanket and draped it around us both, using one of my arms to hold my end of the blanket around me and putting the other around her. She seemed to be into it.

When we returned to the couch, we put the blanket over the both of us and I put my arm back around her. The rest of the movie played out with the two of us cuddled up adorably and I felt like things were going pretty well.

At the end of the night, she drove me home, we talked for the entire trip and when we arrived... I said "thanks for the ride" , probably followed by "I'll see you at quiz."

I then spent the better part of the next few days kicking myself for being far too anxious to actually address the situation. I guess I just wanted to let Sunday be a good day in itself rather than ruining the evening by chancing rejection.

On Thursday, I was determined to put the whole thing to rest one way or the other. As per usual we talked pretty much only to each other all night, at the end of the night it was a given that she'd give me a ride home (at this point there wasn't even a verbal exchange about it any more) and so it went.

The entire car ride I felt physically ill and my heart was beating at an unhealthily rapid rate as I went over and over the speech I'd been rehearsing since I'd left her car the previous Sunday. I was struggling to keep my end of the conversation going as a million different panicked thoughts drifted in and out of my head.

When she pulled up outside my house, I very nearly said thanks and left the same way I had every previous time but I managed to mentally slap myself and force out what I felt needed to be said. I took a deep breath and uttered something to the effect of "Although I enjoy the flirtatious friendship we have going on, I would very much like to be your boyfriend." To which she responded positively with a look on her face which seemed to say a combination of "I'm so glad this is happening" and "It's about time you said something, you oblivious dick!"

And that pretty much sums up the story of how I, by some miracle, got together with the most wonderfully intelligent, beautiful and absolutely hilarious woman I have ever met. As I write this I have had the truly blessed experience of sharing my life with her for almost 8 months and have every intention of adding to that number infinitely.

So I guess if there's anything to take away from this story it's this: Never turn down a Christmas party invite.

The next post here will be about the first of 2 magnificent parties I had to celebrate the grand life achievement that is turning 21.

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